House on a little island


I was thrilled to be in Maine last week for painting.   Even though I am familiar with many painting spots, I always find the first day tough to decide where to paint.

There is a small house on a near by little island which I have taken pictures many times before.  The house is really a small shed and the proportion of the roof to its height makes it an interesting subject for painting.  However, it is hard to paint as it is a bit far away from most of the public places.  I was excited to find out that the house can be seen up close from one of my friend’s place.  I decided to paint it the very first day.

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I composed the building in the center to make it an iconic painting.  Since I have been enjoying framing the subject, I added a lot of space all around the building to keep the space open.  For color inspiration, I have recently started to look at Morandi’s still life.  His colors are muted but at times he would introduce a strong color which is unexpected, and it would eventually give more life to the painting.  Although I have been thinking about how Morandi may have been inspired to pick an unexpected color in his muted surrounding, I kept my color palette true to nature.  At the end, the surrounding atmosphere became creamy grey; inspired by Morandi.
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Iconic theme continued into the second day.  I visited the Ferry building which I have painted a few times before.  I planned the drawing to juxtapose the architecture of the building and the rocks on shore.  I borrowed the rocks from the near vicinity which were worn down and unbalanced, and placed them right below the stairs of the building.  I spent some time drawing the rocks using ivory black  and loved the loose effect from this.  I decide to leave it with the addition of a few minimal renderings.


Although I only had three days to paint, I decided to take another opportunity to paint the same house again.  This time, it was composed from a different perspective and I painted it at a different time of the day.  I had been thinking about Stuart Davis since my last visit to his retrospective show “In Full Swing” at the Whitney Museum.  My drawing continued to have invented space and frame, inspired by Stuart Davis.  After a few hours of painting, it showed muted colors, it was dark but not exciting.  I revisited Morandi’s work and changed the surrounding green color to a bright cobalt blue.  It made the painting more exciting because of this unexpected color which was an inspiration from Morandi’s work.

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However, in retrospect this painting might still needs some work.  I am planning to revisit this again once the paint dries.

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